Instructional program initiatives
The Merit Program for Emerging Scholars is a challenging program for select undergraduates from groups that have been historically underrepresented in science, math, and engineering. To be invited into the program, students must have high academic potential and be committed to excellence. With this program, we hope to create a community of scholars where students collaborate to solve challenging problems, develop friendships based on common academic interests, and inspire each other to maintain a high level of commitment to excellence.
Inclusive STEM Teaching
Every member of the MCB Instructional Program has successfully completed the six-week online course offered by the Inclusive STEM Teaching Project, and is certified in Inclusive STEM Teaching. This training requires instructors to engage in deep reflection and discussion around topics of equity and inclusion in learning environments across a variety of institutional contexts. The experience improves personal awareness, self-efficacy, and the ability to create inclusive STEM learning environments for our students.
Early career seminars
The Departments of Cell & Developmental and Microbiology organize seminars that welcome early career scientists to campus. Speakers from historically marginalized communities are encouraged to apply.
The Department of Microbiology’s Abigail Salyers Distinguished Early Career Researcher Seminars is open to senior PhD students and postdoctoral fellows studying any aspect of the microbial sciences.
The Cell and Developmental Biology Early Career Inclusive Excellence Seminar Series is open to postdoctoral fellows studying any aspect of cell and developmental biology.
Fireside Chats is a new, regular series of conversations hosted by MCB’s Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committee. The “My Journey in Science” Fireside Chats help us explore the question: Who belongs in research science? Many students have doubts about whether they have chosen the right path by entering a PhD program. We will showcase a variety of voices and stories to show the diversity of experiences among UIUC faculty and the challenges they have overcome throughout their careers.
The School of MCB partnered with the eClose Institute to offer a program for middle and high school students from historically excluded groups that introduced them to scientific research opportunities. The institute uses a citizen-scientist model, which means data collected from their experiments will be used to generate large data sets for professional cancer research. This approach not only engages middle and high school students in culturally relevant research, but also supports real-world cancer research and moves science forward. The School of MCB sponsored several students from the Urbana and Champaign public school districts.
Outreach with STEM Illinois
The School of MCB is a proud supporter of STEM Illinois, an outreach initiative of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and community partners. STEM Illinois aims to engage with K-12 students, especially those from diverse backgrounds and different learning styles, and connect them with STEM education and career opportunities. We help produce webcast episodes featuring alumni in health professions.
Communiversity Think-and-Do webcast on Jan. 24, 2021. Guest speakers: Dr. Brittany Cline (BS, '16, molecular and cellular biology) and Dr. Camille Johnson (BS, '16, molecular and cellular biology and psychology).
Communiversity Think-and-Do webcast on Nov. 14, 2020. Guest speakers: Dr. Kameno Bell (BS, '92, biology), Dr. Garth Walker (BS, '09, economics), Dr. Christopher Hicks (BS, '09, kinesiology)
Communiversity Think-and-Do webcast on May 8, 2021, about mental health disparities and access. Guest speaker: Dr. Sadiq Patel (BS '05, molecular and cellular biology), teacher, consultant, social worker, and researcher at Harvard University.